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Turning Weaknesses into Strengths

We all know our limitations. You may feel uncomfortable dealing with a conflict, criticizing a boss or confronting a client. Almost everyone has certain barriers that limit our performance. The challenge most of us face is, first, to confront our own weaknesses and then figure out a way to overcome them.  

When you have to confront a difficult project or engage in situations that make you uncomfortable, you are likely to put off an unpleasant or challenging task by checking emails frequently, taking a break, returning calls, etc. Be aware of what you do to avoid a difficult assignment and try to avoid replicating those behaviors and actions. New York Times best-selling author Joseph Grenny calls these situations crucial moments. To become more comfortable, address unpleasant challenges head on, even if you only focus on the challenge for a few minutes each day. 

Practice will make perfect. Not all unpleasant situations will cause you to break out into a sweat. Practice responses to uncomfortable situations in those incidents that are less taxing. Afterward, do a debrief with yourself and evaluate your performance and stress level.  Overtime, you will become more confident dealing with challenging interactions and will be less likely to avoid them.

The third key to turning weaknesses into strengths is to have the emotional competence to make unpleasant acts more pleasant or at the least manageable. Before addressing the issue, ask yourself, “What is my goal and what do I really want to accomplish?” Clarifying this will help you overcome your fears and better focus on accomplishing your goal.